Fred Langan, LJI
Dunham House has expanded, making room for twelve additional residents at the 85-acre site on the border of West Brome and Dunham. There is now space for 40 residents.
The facility, which is funded by private donations, helps people with mental health problems and concurrent disorders including addiction. It is aimed at the English-speaking population, people who would have difficulty in an all-French language treatment centre. It is the only residential facility of its kind in Quebec that operates its programs in English. “There is nothing of this quality in Quebec for English-speaking patients,” says Dr. Juan Carlos Negrete of West Bolton, a specialist in addiction psychiatry, during a visit to Dunham House. “This is important because in the past English-speaking patients had to go elsewhere such as the United States or Ontario.” The new building includes six bedrooms of 250 square feet each, a lounge, a gym, a conference room and five rooms for counsellors to meet with residents. Kitchen facilities are in the older building.
The rural location is in itself part of the treatment in that the residents, most of whom come from Montreal, find it relax- ing. That includes the chicken coop with 17 hens who provide fresh eggs for residents along with a 6,000 square foot garden which produces fresh vegetables.
“The counselling here beats anything I have ever had,” says one of the residents who must remain anonymous. The resident, a highly articulate person, has problems with alcohol, drugs and depression. The principal program offered at Dunham House runs for six months but there is also a shorter 30-day program. People come to Dunham House on a voluntary basis.
Knowlton resident Daniel Colson founded Dunham House and raising money to continue funding it is a full-time job for the retired lawyer and media executive. The current expansion cost $2 million